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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Pastor (11/30/06)

TITLE: A Life of Meaning
By Dave O'Neil
12/07/06


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The strength of her grip around my fingers betrays her age, but is evidence of the spirit within. I open my eyes and notice that she seems to have dozed off. What thoughts replay, frame by frame, through the still sharp mind of a grandmother who is now weary and limited, awaiting her final breath. Is it past holiday seasons filled my children’s laughter, or the hope that awaits her. What sustains her as she sits, day after day, confined to a room by failing health. She was once a model wife with old-fashioned values who without exception had dinner on the table fifteen minutes after her partner returned home from his workday. A workday that was interrupted at 10:00 every morning by a call from home just to see how the day was going.

Each day, it seems, breathing becomes more of a chore. The hum of the oxygen tank is a hollow assurance that everything must be fine. Hearing and sight slowly give way to sensitivity of touch. It becomes a special language that, as with everything, the younger ones seem to pick up more quickly and fluently. Anticipation of going home to her Lord and Savior is the only commodity that grows stronger anymore. It is her focus, her desire. She has earned it!

Pastors are known by those in their care as leaders by example, putting others best interests ahead of their own. They press on, punctuating moments of uncertainty, and even failure, with words of encouragement. There are times when preventative maintenance spirals into correction, in the form of a scripture or two. This done only in love, and quietly, with no hint of self-righteous satisfaction. Pride is compromised as a means to an end, never needing to get in the last word. But above all else, seeing the best in people when the rest of us might not, is a gift that amazes me.

Very few of us exhibit these measures of love in their day to day activities. As believers, however, we are all challenged to. This should not be a calling exclusively for those with the title of “pastor”. We all can think of special people, who by the Holy Spirit, are known for touching other lives in a special way. Some of us are fortunate to know them as “mother”.


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This article has been read 517 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Emery12/08/06
This is a lovely tribute to your mother. It's also a reminder that one doesn't have to be a pastor to touch peoples' lives. You express yourself well. Keep writing.
Sandra Petersen 12/10/06
Your first two paragraphs were wonderfully poignant and heartbreaking. I stumbled a little at the third paragraph, but then you managed to put it together into that one word in the last paragraph: 'mother'. I was glad to have read this.
Myrna Noyes12/12/06
With you, I believe that every mother, as well as every father, can and should be a pastor, a shepherd, to their own "little flock." Thank you for sharing this touching piece with us!